Inner-city Kids Find a Place to Belong

On a Thursday morning in August, 53 nervous kids ages 8 to 13 arrived at Sunset Lake Camp. They didn't know what to expect as they left their city life behind in exchange for four days in nature.

They soon found themselves in awe of the abounding evergreen trees, fresh-smelling wild plants, and unfamiliar creatures. Their doubts soon disappeared too as they experienced all Sunset Lake has to offer—the Nature Center, waterfront activities, hiking, archery and much more.

"The weekend was a whole new experience for these kids," says David Yeagley, Sunset Lake Camp director. Inner City Camp at Sunset Lake in mid-August enables inner-city children to experience both God and nature. Emerald City and Mt. Tahoma Adventist churches gathered these 53 kids from the Tacoma and Seattle areas. About half of them were dipping their toes into the Adventist world for the very first time.

As a Friday night tradition at Sunset Lake after the evening program, the kids filled out Decision-for-God cards and floated candles on the lake after discussing what they've learned. Later that night 14 children made the decision to study in preparation for baptism.

Starting out unsure of this new environment, these 53 kids now know that Sunset Lake Camp truly "is a place where you belong."

October 01, 2008 / Washington Conference